GOP Senator Backtracks on Linking McCain's Tumor to Health Vote

Sen. McCain Says He Won't Vote for Health Bill as It Is

Senator Ron Johnson on Wednesday walked back his remarks suggesting a connection between fellow Republican Senator John McCain’s brain cancer diagnosis and his decisive vote last month against a stripped-down repeal of Obamacare. "I’m disappointed I didn’t more eloquently express my sympathy for what Sen. McCain is going through. I have nothing but respect for him and the vote came at the end of a long day for everyone," Johnson of Wisconsin said in a statement.

Ron Johnson Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Ron Johnson Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Ron Johnson

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The controversy began after Johnson told WIND-AM in Chicago, "I’m not gonna speak for John McCain -- he has a brain tumor right now -- that vote occurred at 1:30 in the morning, some of that might have factored in.” He added: "I really thought John was going to vote yes to send that to conference at 10:30 at night. By about 1, 1:30, he voted no." McCain spokeswoman Julie Tarallo said it’s “bizarre and deeply unfortunate that Senator Johnson would question the judgment of a colleague and friend. Senator McCain has been very open and clear about the reasons for his vote.” McCain of Arizona has said he voted no because he objected to the legislative process -- a lack of hearings or input from both parties.

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